Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Design (MDes) in Interior Studies / Exhibition + Narrative Environments


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Jonathan Bell

Second Advisor

Patricia Roka

Third Advisor

Gerald Bagg


In bustling urban areas like Manhattan, New York, the majority of interactions between individuals occur amidst the whirlwind of daily life. Yet, there is an absence of genuine connections within local communities, particularly among neighbors who are geographically close, creating a sense of detachment, untrusting, and anonymity. This thesis involves exploring innovative interventions with the ultimate goal of uncovering novel possibilities in interactive exhibitions, distinct from traditional displays. All of this is an effort to curate emotional journeys that transcend routine, fostering vibrant community belonging and connectivity. Against the backdrop of the city’s vertical living, where neighbor encounters are often confined to elevators and lobbies, stands Manhattan House, comprising five distinct towers enveloping a shared park. Its rooftop, serving as a horizontal connector, transcends the vertical boundaries of the towers, providing a communal space where residents from disparate units can forge relationships with each other, regardless of their usual elevator and lobby routes – however, these connections seldom form. The following book proposes an innovative concept, that envisions the exhibition as the gathering of individuals, transcending traditional boundaries of static displays. This design strategy will not only provide spaces for introspection through personal artifacts belonging to residents, but also facilitate dynamic communal activities, thereby weaving together the fabric of Manhattan Houses community group through shared experiences and storytelling. The restored roof terrace becomes a public living room and will now also serve as a repository of the building's rich history, transporting residents back to the time when this historic structure was built. By showcasing the building's past, these methods aim to strengthen the connection of residents to their shared heritage. Residents will come together in these shared spaces and curate emotional journeys that foster connectivity, a sense of belonging, and community pride, transforming strangers into familiar faces and enriching the social fabric of urban living.



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